'All clear' sounds in German city after WWII bombs defused

Patrice Gainsbourg
Mai 8, 2017

The evacuation will begin on Sunday at 9:00 am local time and affect 50,000 people, as well as public transportation and city infrastructure.

People living in the city, as well as businesses, have been told to ensure their water, electricity and gas supplies are turned off before they leave.

At least 54,000 people had to be moved after a 1.8tonne bomb was discovered during building work. The city of Hannover has created sporting events, museum tours and other activities to keep residents entertained.

In one of the biggest evacuations related to WWII-era bombs the country has ever seen, authorities were preparing to search five sites that could pose potential danger to the public. The area in question is located to the north of Hanover's city center, according to the local "Hannoversche Allgemeine" newspaper. Officials say that while they are unlikely to explode, unexploded bombs from the second world war should be taken very seriously.

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Among the people moving out of a densely populated area are elderly residents of retirement and nursing homes.

By mid-afternoon, experts had extracted three British bombs - two of which were defused successfully. The weapons clearing service used explosives to destroy the firing pins in two of the recovered bombs and then used a pressurized water jet cutter to defuse the damaged third bomb, which had a bent fuse.

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